Thu, Aug 30, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Fuel hikes raise goods prices: poll

DAILY BREAD:The Consumers’ Foundation said the government should publish world commodities prices so the public could tell whether price increases were reasonable

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Packages of instant noodles are seen stacked on the shelves at a grocery store yesterday.

Photo: Yang Chiu-ying, Taipei Times

The latest survey conducted by the Consumers’ Foundation on commodity prices for the period from January through last month showed that an increase in the prices of five types of daily necessities was directly related to increases in fuel and electricity prices in recent months.

Among the five types of consumer goods surveyed — instant noodles, eggs, flour, cooking oil and shampoo — the highest increase in price from last year’s average was in egg prices, 5.79 percent, followed by shampoo at 5.55 percent and instant noodles at 4.06 percent.

Comparing the prices with survey results for last year and 2010, the average increase for the five types of daily necessities last year was more than 5 percent, with the increase for instant noodles reaching nearly 16 percent, foundation chairperson Joann Su (蘇錦霞) said.

The increase in the price of instant noodles compared with their average price in 2010 is nearly 20 percent and the increase in the price of eggs from 2010 is about 14 percent, Su said, adding that although the average increase for cooking oil prices was below 3 percent this year, it had increased by 6.08 percent last year, so that price probably reflects the increase in costs already.

The prices of several items surveyed have increased along with the increased prices of fuel in April and the announcement of an electricity price hike in three phases starting in May, foundation secretary-general Chen Chih-yi (陳智義) said, adding that prices have not dropped since then.

Chen said some clear examples of this are: the price of a brand of shampoo jumping from NT$70 in March to NT$115 in April, the cost of a brand of tissues increasing to NT$219 last month from between NT$139 and NT$175 prior to that.

“We urge the government to publish international raw material prices, so that consumers can judge whether the increase in prices is reasonable,” Chen said, adding that “the government should also reconsider not raising the prices of public utilities so frequently to prevent retailers from continuously lifting product prices in unreasonable proportions.”

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